anything that involves men and women wearing skimpy outfits - how could i not be there? such was the case this afternoon for the annual boston santa speedo run in the backbay. it's not just a prank, they actually do raise money for charity. the mile long course stretches both bolyston and newbury street. the event last just 30 minutes, probably less so since it doesn't take half an hour to run a mile (you could walk a mile faster than that). besides, participants wear nothing more than their underwear, so speed is of the essence.

i was there 30 minutes prior to start of the race at 1pm. i hung out around copley square on bolyston street, figuring out where best to stand so i wouldn't be shooting directly into the sun. most people probably didn't even know what was happening, even when a bunch of police officers showed up to temporarily redirect car traffic. but down the street we could hear the roar of the speedo santas as they ran behind a police cruiser escort. if nothing else, it was an amusing diversion for the myriad of holiday shoppers in the city.

the whole procession went by pretty fast, a minute or two at most, with about a few hundred participants. all the santas were pumped, high-fiving bystanders as they ran by. i shot everything with my telephoto lens; there was just too many things to photograph, i grabbed as much as i could as everyone went by.

as soon as that was over, i walked a block to newbury street, to catch the santas on their return leg of the course.

when it was all over, i grabbed the T from berkeley station and returned to cambridge. i bumped into franz at the bicycle shop on mass ave.

earlier this morning, my roommate finally moved out. when i woke up i found him taking photos of the backyard. enjoy it while you can, i thought, you're never going to see it again! my father was half an hour late for the scheduled 10am move time. zhu lei should've been the first person at the door helping; instead, my father and i did all the heavy lifting, hauling his suitcases and boxes from the house into the car, navigating the icy road. when zhu lei arrived he had just 3 suitcases; moving out, he seemed to have way more stuff. besides the additional boxes, he also had at least 3 additional backpacks that i never noticed before. plus, since his new place isn't furnished, i gave him two comforters. the honda element was so full that even if i wanted to go with them there wasn't anymore room in the car. there was a brief moment of awkwardness, as i waited for him to say something. i don't know, maybe a thank you for all your help or something. but he said nothing and was about to get into the car when i blurted out, "good bye." he didn't say anything, just smiled sheepishly. does he have no manners? on top of that, i told him he could have my 2nd bicycle, the older one that i never use. thing is, when he rode the 1st bicycle to work on thursday, he never brought it back because of all the snow. i told him to bring it back today and exchange it for the other bicycle, but i sensed he wanted to keep the newer bike.

anyway, after he left, i pulled off all the bedsheets and pillowcases and threw them into the washing machine. i vacuumed the guest bedroom and picked up the bits and pieces of trash he left for me to find. a lot of the furniture had food stains since he ate in his room most of the time. after i cleaned up the place i stayed in the guest bedroom for the rest of the night. it's weird, i do this every time a roommate moves out; it's kind of like my way of reclaiming the room, marking my territory if you will. besides, other than the bathroom, the guest bedroom is the second warmest room in the house, so it's also a stay-warm strategy.

one weird thing i noticed was the battery-operated alarm clock. i put it in the guest bedroom thinking zhu lei might need it when he first moved in. i noticed the time was off by one hour, meaning he never changed the time when daylight saving ended. however, if that's the case, wouldn't it make him wake up early for work everywhere? but the evidence i've gathered showed that he went to work relatively late, usually around 10am. and another thing: the alarm was set for an 8am wake up. if i didn't catch it, it would've woke me up tomorrow morning.

i didn't have any lunch so in the late afternoon my father brought over some fresh chinese dumplings that my mother made. most of the time when i have dumplings they're the frozen store-bought variety. those are not the same; besides being oilier, the dumpling skin is also very thin. the ones my parents make, the skin is very thick, just the way i like it. after i finished eating, i decided to take a bath - something else i didn't do when i had a roommate. the water was so hot i was as red as a lobster. i soaked for an hour, with a brief break in the middle to cool off before jumping back in the tub. i went through a rolling stone and an entertainment weekly.

during the time i was in the tub, i heard some noises coming from the basement. afterwards i checked the foyer and saw a set of keys on the floor, slipped through the mail slot. so apparently zhu lei did come back and exchange the bicycle after all (around 7pm). i was hoping he'd redeem himself by also leaving a thank you note of some sort, but i must've been living in a fantasy world where my roommate is actually considerate for a change. i wonder if he left the 2nd bike lock or did he take it with him? he told me he was going to take my bike down to the harvard university police and get them to remove the stuck u-lock, but i guess he never got around to it.

afterwards i watched the final cut of blade runner that recently came out. the thing with this version is it makes it very obvious that deckard is a replicant himself. i remember when i first read that "theory" many years ago, i thought it was amusing, but ridley scott has since gone on the record and verified it to be true. i haven't seen the movie for so long (although i do own the director's cut), it's nice to watch it again. there are so many scenes i love from the film, but one of my favorite is when deckard's back at his apartment after getting beat up by leon. deckard sips a shot of clear alcohol and you see the bloody backwash mixing into his drink. this final cut version also fixes a few continuity errors, particularly the scene of the replicant woman crashing through the glass (previous versions, it was the most blatantly obvious use of a stunt double that looked nothing like the original actress). i have to hand it to joanna cassidy - returning 2 decades later to do a reshoot, she still looks pretty good! in the end, my favorite version of blade runner has still got to be the theatrical release, voiceover and all. that's the version i first saw; i actually like the voiceover, gives the movie an even more noirish feel to it. that's also the version with the happy ending where deckard and rachel run away to canada. i love happy endings, even when it goes against the director's wishes!